Every song should take you somewhere. Tugaloo’s “Pebble” takes you to places without you even realizing it.

The song starts, and your first thought is that you’ve stumbled upon a solid singer-songwriter acoustic piece. It builds a bit, it’s all lovely, then after a minute comes a shift. And from that point on, it keeps shifting.

Stereo wandering beats give way to acoustic drums, which are complemented by a few bars of lead guitar, and then a chunky riff comes in for you to sink your teeth into.

This layering and levelling up keep coming at you, and by the end, you have a piece that seems a million miles away from where you started.

Queen did it with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Whitesnake did it with “Still of the Night,” and Radiohead did it with “Paranoid Android.” That’s pretty good company.

Radiohead, in particular, is hard to pin down. The same goes for Tugaloo. “Pebble” weaves in and out of genres, from pop to indie, to rock and even a bit of post-rock (the long shoegaze stuff for the uninitiated).

There’s a lot of stuff brought to the party.

Lyrically, this song explores nostalgia, introspection, and self-blaming. It delves into the nagging obsessions we sometimes feel.

You thought you had to climb to find the precious rock,
When the whole damn time it was a diamond in your sock,
It was a stone in your shoe,
A pebble in your sneaker.

If you get something in your shoe, it’s annoying, but how often have you just put up with it?

As the song ends, we’re told in many ways to take off our shoes and get the debris out.

Just pay attention to what’s underneath your feet

Stop thinking about whatever it is, stop just putting up with it. Take off your shoes, make walking comfortable again, and think about the here and now.

It’s fitting that the song ends like this. There’s no preachy chorus throughout giving you some positive affirmation or life lesson. You have to earn it, and the shifting arcs that the song takes, mirror the way we stumble upon realizations.

As a fan of long meandering songs, I do have a complaint.

Simply, I wanted more. A lot more.

I wanted this song to rise again, and again. To keep hitting me with level after level of high-quality production. To keep on going.

It could have done, but it didn’t. It served its purpose and then moved on.

There is an art to knowing when something is finished.

There are solid guitar licks, modern pop synths, rolling post-rock drums, and lyrics that Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys would be happy with.

And when it all comes together, it stays with you.

Just like a pebble in your shoe.